New Dean of Newcastle announced

18th July 2023

The new Dean of Newcastle has been announced with a pledge to continue to make the Cathedral “ever more outward facing, younger and more diverse”

New Dean of Newcastle Announced

The Reverend Canon Lee Batson will be installed in October this year and succeeds the Very Reverend Geoff Miller who retired last year.

Lee is currently Team Rector of the Epping Team Ministry, as well as Area Dean and World Church Partnership Officer in Chelmsford Diocese, where he developed a strong connection with the Anglican Church in Kenya.

He said:

“I am humbled and delighted to have been appointed as the next Dean of Newcastle, and am looking forward to working with Bishop Helen-Ann, Cathedral Chapter, Bishop’s Staff Team and colleagues in Newcastle Cathedral and Diocese as we seek to further God’s mission in our communities – not least by becoming ever more outward facing, younger and more diverse. 

“This is an exciting time to be joining the Cathedral and Diocese. The Cathedral has recently completed its own refurbishment, which has already opened up new opportunities for it to engage with the City and beyond. 

“Whilst I am new to the North East, I already feel a sense of connection with the core values of the Cathedral as a place of radical welcome which, through offering inspiring worship and other activities, seeks to empower worth.  I look forward to playing my part in building on all that has already been done to make these values a reality – particularly through the Lantern Initiative and partnership with the Oswin Project. 

“I give thanks to God for all the blessings I have received as a priest in the Diocese of Chelmsford and I am grateful to God for the call to continue my ministry in the Diocese of Newcastle.”

Welcoming the new dean, the Bishop of Newcastle, The Right Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley said:

“I am absolutely delighted that God has called Lee to Newcastle, and thrilled that Lee emerged as the unanimous candidate of the appointment panel during our discernment process.

“Lee brings tremendous energy and gifts to his new role and a commitment to the mission and ministry of God in a Cathedral context as it relates to the city and to our whole Diocese. 

New Dean of Newcastle announced

The Very Revd Dr Jane Hedges, who has acted as Interim Dean said:

“The Chapter, staff and congregation of the Cathedral are delighted to hear of the appointment of Lee as the new Dean and very much look forward to welcoming him and to working with him as we serve this great city and diocese.

“We are at a very exciting time in the life of the Cathedral as we build upon what has been achieved in the past, and more recently through the completion of the ‘Common Ground in Sacred Space’ project. As we look to the future, we trust that the Cathedral will continue to be a place of radical welcome, of inspiring worship and where everyone is valued and can thrive.” 

Lee is married to Stephanie and in his spare time enjoys watching cricket and baseball, attending music concerts and exploring the world of wine.

An installation service for Lee will take place in Newcastle Cathedral on October 14.